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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (2016)

Unrated | | Documentary, Music | 17 September 2016 (USA)
Trailer
0:55 | Trailer
A compilation of found footage featuring music, interviews, and stories of The Beatles' 250 concerts from 1963 to 1966.

Director:

Ron Howard

Writers:

Mark Monroe, P.G. Morgan (story consultant)
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Filmed on 31 January 1969, at Apple Studio. Footage used in the film Let It Be.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
The Beatles ... Themselves (archive footage)
John Lennon ... Himself (archive footage)
George Harrison ... Himself (archive footage)
Paul McCartney ... Himself
Ringo Starr ... Himself
Richard Curtis ... Himself - Writer, Director
Frank Phillips Frank Phillips ... Himself - BBC Radio Newsreader (voice) (archive footage)
Leonard Parkin Leonard Parkin ... Himself - BBC Radio Newsreader (voice) (archive footage)
Carroll James Carroll James ... Himself - WWDC Disc Jockey (voice) (archive footage)
Marsha Albert Marsha Albert ... Herself (voice) (archive footage)
Eddie Izzard ... Himself
Ed Sullivan ... Himself (archive footage)
Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself
Neil Aspinall ... Himself - Beatles touring manager 1962-1970
Brian Epstein ... Himself - Beatles Manager (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

In the 1960s, the Beatles exploded on to the public scene, seemingly out of nowhere as the band's formative years of constant performing at home and in Hamburg, and Brian Epstein's grooming, finally paid off beyond their wildest dreams. Accompanying new interviews of the remaining Beatles, their associates and fans as well as archival interviews of the late ones, this film features footage of the heady concert years of 1963 to 66 when the band became a worldwide cultural phenomena topping them all. Furthermore, it also follows how the Fab Four began to change and grow while the excitement of Beatlemania began to sour their lives into an intolerable slog they needed to escape from to become more than what their fans wanted. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The band you know. The story you don't.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beatles Live See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$785,336, 18 September 2016

Gross USA:

$2,930,414

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,283,800
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2016 DELUXE DVD)

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)| Color (digitally colored)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of the titular song was a result of happenstance for which Paul McCartney claims credit. McCartney had been banned from driving due to a speeding violation, and while travelling to John Lennon's home in a chauffeur-driven car one day, he idly asked the driver if he'd been working hard. The driver responded drily, "Eight days a week". See more »

Goofs

After Brian Epstein was introduced in the film, his interview said he first saw them at the Cavern Club. They showed a picture of The Beatles at the Cavern Club with Ringo Starr. When Mr. Epstein first saw the Beatles, Pete Best was the drummer. See more »

Quotes

Ringo Starr: Y'know, like, I can talk like I'm from Liverpool,
[points to the camera]
Ringo Starr: fuck you, I'm tellin' you, don't give me any hard time.
See more »

Connections

Features Let It Be (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film worth getting into your life.
4 October 2016 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

Reviewing documentaries is always a bit tricky, since it is often difficult to separate the quality of the film making from your emotional attachment to the subject material. In my case, my early life was saturated with Beatlemania. Although I was only 2 year's old in 1963 at the start of it all, I had three older siblings who ramped up the excitement so much that it permeated my young mind. I still remember being vehemently "Sssshhed" since I was making too much noise during the live and ground-breaking "All you need is Love" telecast!

Ron Howard's film focuses on "the touring years" which as depicted were truly manic, spanning from 1963 to 1966 before then skipping forward to 1969 for their final rooftop concert. This was in a time when airline travel was not the more comfortable and smoke-free environment it is today, so these worldwide trips much have been seriously gruelling, even without the adoration that reached dangerous proportions when they reached their destinations.

Howard has clearly had his research team scour the world for archive clips since – whilst sensitively skipping some of the more 'commonly seen' materials, like the "jewelry shaking" clip – the film shows concert action I certainly had never seen before.

The film is also nicely interlaced with celebrity cameos recalling their linkage to the Fab Four's performances (often moving, like Whoopi Goldberg's) and the group's "legacy" effect on modern-day art (in Richard Curtis's case rather less convincing). One of the most striking of these is that of Sigourney Weaver recounting her attendance as a pre-teen at the Beatle's Rose Bowl performance in LA. There, in the newsreel footage of adoring fans, is the unmistakable face of the 'before she was famous' actress: at least I hope it really was her (as the clip's timing implied) and not a lookalike, since that would be really disappointing!

Also featuring – although not enough for my liking – are Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, recounting their feelings about the events and what happened behind the closed doors of hotel rooms or – most notably – a meat truck.

What shines through is the honesty and intelligence of Lennon and McCartney, typified by the idiotic questioning of journalists, some of who had done so little homework they didn't even know there wasn't a Beatle called Eric! Some of the group's off the cuff responses were priceless: "What is the secret of your success?" asks one journo. "We don't know" quips John. "If we knew we'd form another group and be managers."

While the film has enormous energy in its first two thirds, it rather runs out of momentum in its final reel…. a bit like the Beatles did in fact. It also has elements of gimmickry like the smoke rising from photo cigarettes which gets a tad tiresome after the tenth occurrence.

But this is a very watchable and enjoyable rock down memory lane for 50-somethings and for any fans old and young of the Fab Four's music. Highly Recommended. Note that the documentary itself is about 90 minutes in length, with another 30 minutes of live concert music tagged onto the end post-titles (which for travel reasons I was unfortunately unable to stay for so can't comment on).

(For the graphical version of this review - or to comment on it - please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks!).


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